April 15, 2020

Downtown Development Authority launches Small Business Relief Fund


$400,000 in grants now available

Colorado Springs, CO – The Colorado Springs Downtown Development Authority today announced the creation of a $400,000 Small Business Relief Fund (CSDDA Relief Fund) to provide grants to eligible storefront businesses in Downtown Colorado Springs. Applications are now open and deadline for submission is 5 p.m., April 22, 2020.


Grants of $2,500 to $25,000 will be available to certain types of storefront businesses located within the boundaries of the DDA. The DDA was established by voters in 2006 to promote the physical and economic growth of Downtown Colorado Springs.


“DDA’s mission is to foster public and private investment partnerships that stimulate the physical and economic development of our Downtown,” said Susan Edmondson, President & CEO of Downtown Partnership, which provides the programmatic and administrative services of the DDA. “COVID-19 has proved especially devastating to restaurants, retailers, salons, galleries and other storefront businesses that are the heart and soul of our city center. Our goal is to provide near-term financial relief to these businesses that contribute so much to our vibrancy,” said Edmondson.


Restaurants, soft goods retailers, art galleries, coffee shops, and salons within the DDA boundaries are some of the business types eligible to apply for a grant. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. MT April 22, 2020, and will be evaluated by a review committee of community members; recommendations will be sent to the DDA Board of Directors, which will make final determinations. Due to limited resources, not all applicants may be funded. Grant award announcements are anticipated by mid-May.


Individuals, businesses and philanthropists desiring to support the vibrancy of Downtown also may contribute to the Fund. “We are so grateful to Bluestaq and Formstack – two businesses that value our wonderful locally-owned shops – that are helping to support our efforts,” said Edmondson. Others desiring to pledge support to the fund may contact Edmondson.


Who is eligible for CSDDA grants?

Specific storefront businesses within the DDA boundaries, including: restaurants; craft brewers or distilleries; soft goods retailers and specialty food purveyors; art galleries; coffee shops and ice cream shops; movie theaters; bars; salons; tattoo parlors; fitness centers; independently owned franchises. See website for full eligibility details.


Why is this restricted to Downtown businesses?

The funding for these grants is generated by a Downtown taxing district and is therefore restricted to support businesses within that district.


How is the DDA funded?

The DDA is funded by a 5-mill tax levy and through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF is the capture of increased property tax revenues following a baseline assessment. TIF revenues go into a special fund and as it grows, the funds can be leveraged for support of Downtown projects, such as this Relief Fund.


Courtesy of Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership